As my father was a stroke victim, I found this news release to be both fascinating and encouraging!
Using this in vivo optical imaging technique, Dr Osanai and colleagues were able to see that the injected stem cells entered the brain on the "first pass," without entering the general circulation. Within three hours, the stem cells began to migrate from the smallest brain blood vessels (capillaries) into the area of brain injury.
After four weeks, rats treated with stem cells had significant recovery of motor function (movement), while untreated rats had no recovery. Examination of the treated brains confirmed that the stem cells had transformed into different types of brain cells and participated in healing of the injured brain area.
Stem cells are likely to become an important new treatment for patients with brain injuries, including TBI and stroke. Bone marrow stem cells, like the ones used in the new study, are a promising source of donor cells.
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